tv Making Money With Charles Payne FOX Business May 9, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm EDT
matter what. liz: all right. jim hanson, thank you for your expertise and insights. we're all over that breaking news. president trump has fired james comey. charles is going to probably stay on this story. right, charles? charles: oh, absolutely. this is a bombshell, elizabeth macdonald. thank you very much. that's right, it just came out, guys. breaking news right now, president trump firing fbi director james comey under the recommendation from attorney general jeff sessions. joining me now to discuss, louisiana's attorney general, jeff landry, along with tammy bruce, rich lowry, jeff dewitt with us as well. guys, let me read the letter that president trump sent to director comey. i have received the attached letters from the attorney general and the deputy attorney general of the united states recommending your dismissal as a director of the federal bureau of investigation. i have accepted their recommendation, and you are hereby terminated and removed from office effective immediately.
while i greatly appreciate you informing me on three separate to occasions that i am not under investigation, i nevertheless concur with the judgment of the department of justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau. it is essential that we find n leadership for the fbi that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission. i wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, signed donald j. trump, president of the united states. let me go to you first, attorney general jeff landry. listen, you understand the job as well as anyone else, obviously, on a larger scope. many have been scratching their heads why this hadn't been done earlier. apparently, the tipping point was the flip-flop and the conflicting information whether or not huma abedin had sent hundreds, perhaps thousands of mailto her husband's laptop or just a handful. how could they get that wrong? >> yeah, it's amazing that they
did if, in fact, that was true, and evidently it is. i think what we saw here is that the president's being consistent. if he finds someone in his cabinet or right underneath in his purview or circle has misled congress or him, then he seems to have indicated exactly how he will deal with them, and that is to terminate them. charles: tammy, i've got to tell you, this is an absolute bombshell. president trump has stood by james comey through a lot. [laughter] i thought, actually, to be quite frank with you, he would be one ofhe first fir. he never out of the news. he was always in the forefront of the news, there was always confusion be every time he opened his mouth, and i think it was a long time coming. but it was certainly, in this particular case without a doubt, warranted. >> one of the problems is when you're the story, something has gone wrong, and that was the story consistently. he would also give speeches. he was someone who clearly liked or did not mind being this front of the camera.
his involvement seemed to be very different. his attitude, of course, irritated people. but both sides, both democrats and republicans were appalled at one thing or another. and i think that's an indication also. the president's right in his letter, it's got to be about trust with an agency like this. and someone in this kind of environment who is looked to with respect and trust when it comes to their choices. charles: respect and trust, rich, i hate to say it, no longer associated with the comey name/brand. the irony is everyone on both sides of the aisle gave him the benefit of the doubt. a year ago he was held in the highest esteem by everybody in this country no matter what your political ideology was. that's all changed. >> yeah. tammy's right. everyone's been upset with him and lost confidence at some point or other. now, i have some sympathy for him. i think he was in a difficult situation. once you have a presidential candidate who's under fbi investigation, it's going to to be ticklish how you handle that. and i do think the reason why he
broke with policy and talked about it is because bill clinton met with loretta lynch and undermined the public's confidence in the investigation. now, the irony about doing it at this particular time though, charles, is that the entire left -- which as of 15 minutes ago probably wanted comey to go for supposedly hurting hillary clinton at the end -- will be appalled and will say this is the biggest scandal since -- charles: oh, no, this is certainly going to fan those flames. rich, i do want to ask you, though, i mean, you have sympathy for him, and yet he spoke publicly about something perhaps he should not have. and then he laid out this amazing, amazing rationale for indicting hillary clinton and decides not to. >> yeah. charles: so he creates this firestorm, a circular firing squad at himself, and he compounds it every single time he opens his mouth. >> yeah. the answer is he never should have owned his mouth. that would have been the right decision. just stick with policy. we have policy and practices for a reason.
and i think the justification for not recommending an indictment for hillary, he said she didn't have the intent, but that's not in the statute. to he was basically reinterpreting the statute. so i said, you know, when trump was elected he should get comey out at some point. it's just this particular timing is going to make it feel like a political bombshell. >> well, and in his testimony the other day he said it was the loretta lynch meeting with clinton on that tarmac that made it untenable for him. frankly, he should have said that when he was having that press conference saying i know this is unusual. i am in this untenable position, here is what i'm doing. but none of that occurred, and then you have this added-in element of intent which was meaningless when it came to the statute. charles: right. that was his own interpretation which was incorrect, at that. i want to go to blake burman with the latest on the phone right now. blake? >> reporter: hi there, charles. a couple notes from the white house perspective on this. first, a senior white house
official telling fox tonight it is, quote, coincidental, this firing of james comey happened on the same day as the huma abedin news. as you know, when comey testified earlier this week on capitol hill, he said there were hundreds of thousands, i believe, he said of e-mails that were forwarded from huma abedin to anthony wiener. it turns out that that was an overexaggeration, and comey had been in the headlines on this day because of that. and there was a lot of questions as to how the fbi might go about it, how they might correct the record and is so forth. but the white house, their line tonight is this is merely coincidental. secondly, the white house press secretary sean spicer was asked about whether or not the president still has confidence in jim comey, and as it relates to -- it was brought up in the context of these abedin e-mails and the testimony, and spicer said, yes, as far as he knows the president does have confidence in him. however, he did hedge a little bit by saying, well, at least as it relates to the last time that
as a threshold matter, the president can fire secretary comey for -- i'm sorry, director comey for whatever he wishes. but the fact of the matter is this is a very well coordinated and planned decision. letters were sent from the attorney general, from the deputy attorney general and other high ranking officials explaining that they did not have confidence in mr. comey in conducting investigations not only for clinton's e-mails, but all sorts of investigations. and as a result, they decided to go a new direction. charles: want to go -- we've got jeff dewitt, i think, on, former trump campaign chief operating officer. jeff, i would imagine that within the trump administration they were grappling with this. blake burman mentioned that even today sean spicer said, yes, director comey enjoys the confidence of the president, but then hedging the last time we spoke. so this, obviously, had to be something that the administration be's been grappling with for some time.
>> you know, charles, these decisions are never easy. the fbi is one of america's premier investigative agencies, and doing something like this is, obviously, a major move. but i highly recommend for everyone to read the letter, the memorandum sent earlier today from the deputy attorney general, rosenstein, in which he lays out the case very detailed into the reasons why this was being recommended by the deputy ag to get this done. and i think that really led to the decision happening today. but a lot of it comes back to what tammy said, which is that comey had started to litigate in the public x he became a public figure -- and he became a public figure. it's really unprecedented, what he did back in july where he came out publicly and held a press conference basically laying out the case against clinton and then saying but i'm not going to do anything about it. so we have to make sure that america trusts these agencies, and it really comes down to integrity. and, really, i think it's a decision we were all waiting on to happen, we just didn't know when.
>> you know, also i think that his testimony and what we look back to on his misstating of the abedin e-mails is that it points to a sloppiness. this is not a conversation over dinner. he's testifying to congress. this was a key element of the nature of how he was addressing abedin and everyone else in that regard. and he gets -- now, there were tens of thousands of e-mails, even perhaps over 100,000 on the laptop. but they -- not all of them had been forwarded. a handful had been. that is a huge difference when it comes to either a criminality aspect or the nature of the dynamic completely. and to that, is what he was actually testifying. to get that kind of an element wrong, it kind of puts a cloud over all the decision making or at least everything that he's articulated to the public. >> another irony here, he's sort of the classic inside washington player where the -- near the forefront of every single decision he made about how to handle this case was what he perceived to be in james comey's political interests. and pursuing that policy, he
ended up upsetting along the line everyone and getting cashiered in a highly, high-profile way. >> excellent point. excellent point. charles: i want to go back to jeff landry, louisiana's attorney general. you know, sir, we saw yesterday what the sally yates testimony where she had her own interpretation of the constitution, if you will, even so much so that she went against the president of the united states thinking that she was doing the right thing. how does -- are there any guidelines for any attorney general to determine how they interpret the constitution and stated laws that are already on the books? i would think the person who gets this job next is going to be under extraordinary pressure to walk a certain line. >> well, you're always supposed to presume that all of the laws passed by congress are constitutional as attorney general -- charles: but what about orders, for instance, from the white house and in this particular
case it was the travel moratorium, or in the case of james comey there was a statute on the books for over a hundred years, and he didn't think it was applicable because no one else had used it before. >> i agree. look, i think that's wrong. i think if laws are on the books, they should be enforced. i say consistently there has to be a rule of haw, and it must be followed -- of law. i think yates was wrong in the fact that she interpreted the president's executive order as being unconstitutional. that was not her job. her boss was the president of the united states. her job was to defend be that executive order to the best of her ability. i think in director comey's position, he was in a very untenable position. he goes out there and evaluates and collects that evidence, and then he presents it to the u.s. attorney who at the time was general lynch and says this is the evidence i have. do you or to you not want to indict? and i think that that was the problem that he found himself in last year where i believe the u.s. attorney's office certainly
didn't want to do an indictment because of the political nature of it. he felt he had to come out and reopen the investigation. again, i think that it wasn't a matter of whether director comey was going to leave, it just was a matter of when that timing was going to be. charles: okay. i want to bring in deroy deroy murdock, he's joined the panel here. i think it's interesting that we've heard blake burman a josh blackman say this is, obviously, quote: well-coordinated. it wasn't a knee-jerk reaction to news today, and i think this is critical from the political aspect to to this, because democrats will certainly seize on the idea that, hey, here's a guy who said hundreds of thousands of potentially classified e-mails were sent from huma abedin to her husband and had to tell the public days before the election when, in fact, it was only a few. so it feels like that part critical to the story, because the political uproar on this over the next 24 hours going to be amazing. >> well, the uproar's going to
be interesting because i assume the democrats will oppose everything trump does, will complain, oh, my god, trump fired comey, this is an awful thing -- charles: but they'll also say comey cost hillary the election, why? did he want to stay in his job if trump won the election? >> they have painted comey as this great devil who cost hillary clinton her entitlement to the white house. so they painted him in a very bad light. it's going to put them in an odd situation where they're going to count and defend the same man who they think kept hillary clinton in the private is sector. charles: it's just going to be one of these things where the mainstream narrative will have have -- mainstream media will have one narrative? and you're going to have to do your homework. we're trying to get the letter that was sent to trump. the well-coordinated part, something they've been considering for some time. >> i think what you're going to see over the next few days is new tape of the democrats defending comey as the latest victim of trump, and you'll also
have images of hillary clinton saying this is the man who destroyed her campaign. i think they're going to be very, very schizophrenic on this. charles: josh blackman, you're the professor, the scholar, if you will, on these things. do you see changes? do you see changes in the job of attorney general? do you see something happening here with respect to perhaps even a paradigm shift in the role because of the, in the aftermath of the james comey saga? because it's been one hell of a saga. >> it has. a few months ago judge lawrence silverman on the d.c. circuit who was a member of the ford and nixon administrations wrote in "the wall street journal," quote: who the hell does mr. comey think he is? a legal clark kent emerge anything tights to save the country. [laughter] and i think it's a very apt phrase. comey, i think, took it upon himself to do what he thought was best for the country, not what was best for the rule of law and for the agency he headed. and i think that in no small part is why trump terminated him today.
charles: once again for the audience just tuning in, president trump has terminated director comey after the suggestion from the attorney general and the deputy attorney general. perhaps they all thought he was maybe a legal clark kent as well. we'll be right back. think your large cap equity fund has exposure to energy infrastructure mlps? think again. it's time to shake up your lineup. the alerian mlp etf can diversify your equity portfolio and add potential income. bring amlp into the game. before investing, consider the fund's investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. read the prospectus carefully at alpsfunds.com/amlp
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want to share them with the audience. one thing he does say, and it gets back to the roots of all this: i cannot -- also the director was wrong to usurp the attorney general's authority on july 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution. he also goes on to say compounding the error, the director ignored another longstanding principle. we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. and finally, the director laid out his version, his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument but without a trial. it's what we've been saying. it was festering for a long time, tammy. it finally came to an end here. >> yeah. all of us had already been reacting to that entire dynamic was inappropriate, it seemed bizarre, in fact.
and now we're getting directly from the department of justice that he did a whole series of things in that framework. also, in many ways, defending loretta lynch's prerogative to make statements or decisions, and there he is making a statement about his position. so this goes into,iously, behavior, judgment, the nature of what he was doing with the cases as well, and i think, obviously, with this now it should have happened a long time ago. charles: blake burman has more information nurse. blake. >> reporter: hi, charles. as you can imagine, the lawmakers are coming out and giving their version of what should happen. dick durbin, one of the top democrats on the senate floor, was just speaking out about jim comb hu's firing and said -- not sure if this is an exact quote, but he said the termination and removal of james comey as the director of the federal bureau investigation raises the critical question as to whether the fbi investigation of russian interference in the last presidential campaign will continue and whether the investigation into any collusion or involvement by the trump campaign will also be
investigated by the fbi. durbin goes on to say: any attempt to undermine this fbi investigation would raise grave constitutional issues. so you get the idea, charles, of where only democrats are going with this thing. this investigation into what happened in 2016 should go on. by the way, as it relates to jim comey, he was scheduled to be out in hollywood at an fbi -- at a recruitment event for officers. his status there, we don't know, but his the discuss on the job, no longer. charles? charles: blake burman. okay, guys, again the democrats are are now connecting this to the russian investigation. suggesting, suggesting that perhaps this move was done to stop the investigation into possible connections between the trump campaign and russia. we'll be right back. hey sweetie, how was your first week? long. it'll get better. i'm at the edward jones office, like sue suggested. thanks for doing this, dad. so i thought it might be time to talk about a financial strategy.
attorney general jeff sessions. joining me to discuss, louisiana's attorney general, jeff landry, josh blackman, tammy bruce, rich lowry, deroy murdock and jeff dewitt. let me go to you, attorney general, first, landry. because this letter, the -- particularly the letter from rod rosenstein, goes on to say that he was concerned about the letter that comey sent to congress on october 28th. and, again, it keeps suggesting that comey put himself above the office in some sort of way saying he would choose whether he would speak about the fbi decision to handle this and whether or not the e-mails, you know, were concealed. he said concealed was a loaded term, misstated the issue. i mean, there were a lot of misstatements and missed opportunities here by the attorney general. how does this happen in the office as important as yours
and, of course, on the level of the national scale that james comey, on the fbi had? how do these things even happen? >> well, look, just the fact that it's to difficult to discuss the actions that took place and what he did last year speaks for itself. the fact is, is that he opened an investigation, then closed it, then opened it, then closed it. there evidently was some tension between him and the department of justice, attorney general as it regarded the e-mails, the e-mail controversy. again, all of those things created distrust. the messages were confusing. and, again, i think that at the end of the election when it was, when it became obvious that president trump had won and that he was seated, i think a lot of us believed that james comey was on his way out. the fact that he's out today is, comes as no surprise. it was just a matter of when. charles: right.
>> again, you know, the -- what i'm hoping the the president looks for in the next director is someone who is intent on using the law and the facts to take them to their decision. when you gather the evidence, you look at the law irrespective of whether the law years old and maybe has never been used before, is it relevant here. if someone goes out there and breaks the law, they should be held accountable. charles: thank you very much. really appreciate it. i want to go on the phone now, former representative pete hoekstra, also former house intelligence committee chairman. thanks for taking the time to to call in to the show. >> sure. [laughter] charles: representative hoekstra, you've got the democrats coming out in force. senator tim kaine tweeting: comey firing recommended by sessions. i thought he had recused himself from russian investigation. also saying how frightened the administration over the investigation. richard blumeing that would callinfor a special
investigator. dick durbin saying phaps ts had something to do with the russian information and putting out there publicly that they hope this investigation between possible collusion with donald trump's campaign and donald trump's businesses in russia is not interfered with or stopped. what are your thoughts? >> well, the interesting thing is after the hearings yesterday, all the discussions, all the work that's been done, the stuff that came off the intelligence community last year consistently says there's no evidence of any collusion at all. you would think that the democrats would applaud this because of what james comey did last year on july 5 where he gave this rambling press conference that made absolutely no sense. when he interjected himself back into the election, you know, ten days before the election, on october 28th, the testimony that he gave last week that was confusing. the problem here is you have the director of the fbi became the story and part of the story
rather than the law enforcement arbiter that he should have been. it was time for a change, like your previous guest said. many of us thought it would happen immediately when donald trump came into office, but it's happened now, and it's appropriate. charles: within the, within the umbrella of the department of justice, should there be a different sort of protocol? in other words, you have an attorney general who i always, who's the boss, but in this particular case james comey decided he could do what he wanted to do. i guess loretta lynch gave him the green light to do that. should there be a greater chain of command so you don't get this sort of cowboy mentality here where you've got the fbi director interpreting constitutional law? >> no, thas exactly right. a law enforcement officer is responsible for one thing, that is to determine the facts, nothing but the facts.
they then present it to, you know, prosecutors, professionals in that area who then make the decision as to what the call's going to be, whether there was a crime that's committed, whether there's sufficient evidence to prosecute for that crime. and, yeah, james comey has demonstrated over the last year that he believes he can do all of those things. that's not his job. he's overstepped the bounds of his authority, and it's now come back, you know? and he's now being held accountable. you cannot have people running rogue in the department of justice or at the fbi. charles: representative hoekstra, thank you very much. you really -- >> thank you. charles: we appreciate you calling in your expertise. by the way, brian -- [inaudible] who helped run hillary clinton's campaign said i'm not crying any tears for james comey, he helped hurt the fbi's reputation. we'll be right back. i count on my dell small business advisor
charles: breaking news, right before the show began now we have more details on president trump firing fbi director james comey. this under the recommendation from attorney general jeff sessions. joining me now to discuss, we've got the panel, josh blackman, tammy bruce, rich lowry, deroy murdock and ned ryan, mark serrano. democrats are coming out really strongly and printed statements from their offices on twitter, they've turned this into an effort by the white house to scuttle the russian investigate
into the campaign and also potentially donald trump's businesses in russia. this, a day, of course, after we heard testimony that there's zero evidence that any collusion existed in the first place. >> sure, charles. i mean, the it's laughable, you know? russia, russia, russia, that's the only answer they've got which is really sort of -- it's shameless, but at the same time it's very revealing of what little strategy the democrats have that they have to turn to russia as their answer. look, if russian collusion was waldo, you can't anywhere in the world find waldo, in this case. if you take a look at it, director comey's fate was sealed july 5th when he set hself up as psy for bill clinton and loretta lynch.